Volume 5, Number 1 - May 2017


Challenging positional authority: Navigating leadership as collaboration

This article reflects a recent symposium presentation that explored ways positional leadership limits opportunities for members of the community of practice to contribute leading practices. As many early childhood environments in Aotearoa/New Zealand become increasingly market driven, a focus on outcomes and accountability have influenced the leadership and management hierarchy. This focus places leadership as situated in a designated position afforded to one or two individuals (Rodd, 2013). The approach advocated in this article provides opportunities to develop mutually supporting and complimentary shared practices of leading, between all members of the community of practice (Wilkinson & Kemmis, 2016). This aligns with leadership founded on collaboration and empowerment of teachers, as well as student teachers, to contribute expertise and abilities, equating to leading practices. Transformation from individualistic leadership to a more collectivist style, promoting skills and attributes individuals could contribute underpins this approach. A kaupapa Māori model of leadership that aligns with a collectivist perspective, is used to challenge understandings of responsibility within the community of practice. This approach invites communities of practice to draw on people’s capabilities, promote self-efficacy and provide space to grow leaders.

 

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